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Samsung wants to make upgrading to your next smartphone a little easier on your wallet. Samsung Upgrade, the company's just-launched buyback program, lets folks trade in their current smartphone for up to $300 in cash when they purchase a new Samsung Galaxy device.
Like many other trade-in programs, consumers receive a quote for their current device online and then are mailed a check from Samsung within 30 days of shipping the device. However, like its namesake, Samsung Upgrade requires that you purchase a Samsung Galaxy device, meaning you can't just pocket the money you just earned like you would with other trade-in services. (You'll need to provide Samsung with proof that you purchased a Galaxy device before receiving your check.) But with so many trade-in and recycling programs to choose from, we wanted to know what makes Samsung's stand out.
We then tried selling our iPhone 4S at BuyMyTronics, yet another trade-in service, and were quoted $252 for an "excellent" condition iPhone. A "new" condition (i.e. flawless) iPhone at BuyMyTronics goes for $279 — again comfortably beating Samsung's quote of $210. For our third comparison, we tried NextWorth, who offered us $263 for our iPhone 4S. All in all, Samsung's upgrade program offered the lowest return credit for our iPhone.
While not a trade-in service, we also decided to check eBay to gauge what resellers were getting for used iPhones. We saw bids on our same iPhone model reach as much as $360. What's more, we encountered similar results when researching the HTC Evo 4G for Sprint. Samsung Upgrade offered $40 for the Evo; BuyMyTronics offered $48; NextWorth $39; and Gazelle $34. With the HTC Evo 4G, Samsung's buyback price was better, but it was still not the top offer we could find.